Rob Gronkowski reportedly wants to un-retire, but only if he can play with Tom Brady

Update, 2 p.m. ET: Rob Gronkowski has been dealt to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, according to Adam Schefter.


Original post: On Monday night, retired New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski went on Bravo’s “Watch What Happens Live” and teased a possible return to the NFL to play with his old quarterback Tom Brady. He told host Andy Cohen “you never know ... I’m not totally done” when asked about coming out of retirement but said he didn’t have the drive to play.

What a difference a day makes. Not 24 hours later, Gronk reportedly told the Patriots he’s interested in coming back — but only if he can play with Brady on his new team, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the only way for that to happen would be for the Patriots to trade Gronkowski to the Buccaneers. And it just so happens that the two teams have reportedly been discussing that.

The Patriots would have an enormous amount of leverage in those trade negotiations. If Gronkowski only wants to play with Brady in Tampa, then the Patriots have nothing to lose by asking for the moon. If it works out, they get a new player or two in exchange for a guy who was never going to play for them. If it doesn’t work out, nothing changes at all.

This all might seem like a long shot, but it could be close to actually happening. Jay Glazer of Fox Sports reported that Gronk has taken his physical and the deal could be completed in 24 hours.

Gronk retired following the 2018 season at age 29 after a nine-year NFL career. He later said that he’d had “probably 20” concussions over the course of his career, and football had been bringing him down before he retired. Since hanging up his cleats and helmet, he’s become an NFL analyst and started competing with the WWE.

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